Essay

9 Pennsylvania Cryptids: Appearance, Behavior, and Location

A fascinating class of animals known as cryptozoologists, or crypto-earthlings, are thought to live someplace on Earth despite having little to no supporting evidence from science. After example, until science established their existence, creatures like kangaroos and okapi were thought to be cryptids.

There are some fascinating cryptids in Pennsylvania’s woods and wilderness. Learn about nine ethereal and enigmatic Pennsylvania cryptids, including what they look like, how they behave, and where you might be able to discover one.

Squonk

The Squonk is said to be a greatly misunderstood species that can melt into a pool of tears because it is so unhappy with the way it looks.

The dense hemlock forests of northern Pennsylvania are home to the Squonk people. The thing covered with moles and warts there sobs nonstop. The Squonk was first described in William T. Cox’s 1910 book Fearsome Creatures of the Lumberwoods. Cox advises readers to “follow its tear-stained trail” if they hope to encounter a Squonk.

Potter County Nondescript

The story of the enormous, hairy Potter County Nondescript, who scared a fisherman half to death, originates in the misty woods of Pennsylvania’s wilds.

A publication known as the Potter Enterprise provides an account of a fisherman’s encounter on April 21, 1897. The man in question, William “Bill” Butler of Denton Hill, reportedly saw the hunched-over animal devouring a groundhog while out for a walk in the woods with his dog and horse.

The Potter County Nondescript bears resemblance to Bigfoot’s concepts and paintings. It’s a massive, hair-covered monster that stands over six feet tall. It possesses six- to seven-inch tusks in its mouth and is bipedal, meaning it walks on two legs. Its behaviour differs from other creatures in that it is more cautious. During the encounter, Bill’s dog barked at it, frightening it away before it attacked Bill.

Since then, no one has seen the Potter Nondescript. However, if you explore Pennsylvania’s officially recognised International Dark-Sky Park, you might get the chance to see the Dark Skies environment.

Giwoggle

Since 2011, the Giwoggle has become the “official monster” of Clinton County, Pennsylvania.

It looks like the Giwoggle walks on two feet, just like the Potter County Nondescript. On the other hand, legend depicts it as a wolf-like being with hooves for a head and claws for hands. The Giwoggle was first observed in 1870, and the local folklore holds that it was summoned by a witch.

Many believe that the Giwoggle is a lone creature that would rather avoid contact with human culture because sightings of the monster are rare and far between.

Suscon Screamer

Everyone in Greater Pittston, Pennsylvania, is in a trance due to an unexplained cryptid that has been screaming bloodcurdlingly. Some people think it looks like a pig, while others think it looks like Bigfoot. It could walk on two legs and have claws or not.

Whatever its looks, at night the Suscon Screamer terrorises everyone who hears its cry near Suscon Road.

Raystown Ray

The nameless aquatic animal that resides in Raystown Lake is known as Raystown Ray, and he is Pennsylvania’s answer to Nessie.

The lake, which is 200 feet deep and 30 miles wide, might be home to a dark-colored, strangely-shaped lake monster of unknown proportions. Numerous sightings of the cryptid have been reported over the years, with the most recent reports coming from 2022. When it feels safe enough to move, this solitary creature will often bob its head out of the water.

Raystown Ray may be a single animal, although reports of sightings vary in length; some claim the monster is no longer than three feet, while others place its length closer to twenty feet.

Susquehanna Seal

A cryptid that is believed to be a mix of a hippo and a dinosaur, known by the names West Branch Dugong and Kettle Creek Monster, dates back to the early 1800s. Although there haven’t been many sightings of it since Clinton County’s flood in 1889, the locals still think the monster swims in the county’s waters. Nobody has had enough experience with it to draw anything more detailed than a giant marine animal.

According to the oldest stories, it was a vicious animal that deliberately agitated and attacked fisherman. Later reports state that the cryptid was not seen by the people, who instead attributed problems to the Susquehanna Seal, such as often wrecked rafts.

Bryn Athyn Beast

Cryptids that resemble Bigfoot have a choice of comfortable homes in Pennsylvania’s woodlands. Depending on who you ask, the Bryn Athyn Beast, a cryptid native to Montgomery County, seems to have four legs or two.

This cryptid, like Raystown Ray, has been sighted multiple times after the initial report. Locals refer to the apparently wolf-like creature as a “dogman.” Legend has it that the cryptid, first observed in the 1990s, is a lone creature that will not hesitate to protect itself. For instance, it appears that the first person to glimpse the Bryn Athyn Beast did so while accompanying a buddy on an empty baseball pitch. They then chose to pursue it. The pair just avoided the cryptid’s grasp as it turned around after initially running away.

Ape Boy of the Chester Swamps

Legend has it that a human kid in Delaware County, which is close to Philadelphia, was transformed into a monster more than 250 years ago. The child, with his red hair and ugly demeanour, fled into the surrounding swamps from his dreaded family. There he turned into a red-haired ape-like monster and lived a lonely life.

All but a small portion of Delaware County’s marshes have been obliterated by urban development; the John Heinz National Wildlife Refuge near Tinicum is the sole area that remains. Though there are no current reports of the cryptid being sighted, the Ape Boy of the Chester Swamps may have existed at some point.

Jersey Devil

Although the Jersey Devil may be native to New Jersey, residents of Pennsylvania have reported seeing him at least twice in the Philadelphia region.

It is reported that the New Jersey Devil has brilliant red eyes, bat-like wings, and a horse-like head. Its dimensions vary, with some claiming it is over six feet tall and others saying it is only three feet tall. It has two long rear legs and two short front legs. The website of the New Jersey government characterises the Jersey Devil as “very ugly,” and anyone unfortunate enough to come into contact with it is said to be terrified.

It seems that the Jersey Devil is a scary creature at night and sleeps during the day. From the Pine Barrens, it has made its way to various parts of Philadelphia, where it spends its days looking for wetlands to inhabit.

Cryptids in the Keystone State

Pennsylvania is home to a variety of strange and untamed animals that residents claim to have seen at some point, including the Giwoggle and the Bryn Athyn Beast. The next time you find yourself in Chester County, keep an eye out for the Ape Boy or keep an eye out for the Squonk in the hemlock forests of Northern Pennsylvania.